Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Thursday, November 1, 2001
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Defending National Champions on Display
As Muhlenberg Hosts Women’s Soccer Regional
FOOTBALL TRAVELS TO NEW YORK FOR IMPORTANT NON-LEAGUE GAME

Who: Muhlenberg (6-2) at Hartwick (6-2)
What: A matchup of two teams that made the ECAC playoffs last year but are trying to get into the NCAAs this time. Muhlenberg is shooting for one of three Pool C bid for conference runners-up, while Hartwick, an independent, is jockeying for one of seven Pool B slots.
When: Saturday, November 3, 1:00
Where: All-Purpose Field, Oneonta, N.Y.

Series Record: Hartwick has won two of three series meetings. The Mules scored their first win last year, tying a school record with seven interceptions in a 30-26 win. The go-ahead touchdown was scored with 1:22 remaining.

Scouting the Hawks: Hartwick began the season with six straight wins, but has since dropped games to Rensselaer (62-47) and 18th-ranked Union (23-21). The Hawks have a high-powered offense that is engineered by Daniel Pincelli, who averages 313.9 passing yards per game and has already thrown 33 touchdown passes this season. His favorite target, Ryan Johnson, is second in Division III in receiving yards per game and has 19 TD receptions. Ryan Soule has returned six kickoffs for touchdowns in his career, including one last year against Muhlenberg. Defensive end Tommy Knapp has 17 tackles for loss this season, leading a defense that is allowing 21.4 points per game despite giving up 62 in one.

Scouting the Mules: Muhlenberg has won three in a row to finish with its best Centennial Conference record (5-1) since 1986. The Mules got big plays from the defense (three interceptions and six sacks) and special teams (a blocked punt) in a 23-20 win against Ursinus last week. Senior Joshua Carter tied a 74-year-old school record with his 40th career touchdown and is closing in on three more marks: the CC records for career yards on punt returns (1,480; he needs 2) and kickoff returns (2,182; he needs 33) and the Muhlenberg record for receiving yards (2,678; he needs 75). Matt Bernardo needs 83 yards to become the first sophomore in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

Take Me to Your Leaders: Hartwick ranks among the Division III statistical leaders in eight categories. The Hawks are 10th in passing offense, 17th in total offense and 30th in scoring offense, and Daniel Pincelli (ninth in total offense) and Ryan Johnson (second in receiving yards, third in scoring) both rank in the top 10 in individual categories. Muhlenberg shows up four times: Matt Bernardo is tied for seventh in scoring and is 30th in rushing, and Joshua Carter is 17th in both all-purpose yards and kickoff returns.

The road to the national championship for the Muhlenberg women’s soccer team begins this weekend when the Mules host the Mid-Atlantic Regional, and one of the potential teams in their path is the defending national champion.

The College of New Jersey won its third national title last year and hasn’t slowed down a bit in 2001, outscoring its opponents 61-0. The Lions face Western New England in the second of Saturday’s semifinals.

Before the Mules can think about TCNJ, however, they must get past a formidable Elizabethtown squad that has been nationally ranked for most of the season. WMUH 91.7 FM will broadcast the Muhlenberg-Elizabethtown game live on Saturday at 11:00.

The winners of Saturday’s regional semifinals meet on Sunday at 1:00 for the right to meet the winner of the Great Lakes Regional in the “Elite Eight.”

Here’s a quick look at the four competing teams:

Muhlenberg (18-2): Muhlenberg won its second straight Centennial Conference title with a 1-0 shutout of Johns Hopkins on Sunday. The Mules enter the NCAA Tournament ranked 22nd in Division III and with a school-record 16-game winning streak. They have also set school records for wins (18) and shutouts (12) in a season. Sophomore Dawn Iberer leads the team with 15 goals scored. Junior Kim Laurino made nine saves in the CC championship game to set school records for shutouts in a season (nine) and career (21). Muhlenberg made is first NCAA Tournament appearance last year, splitting two games.

Elizabethtown (15-4): Elizabethtown advanced to the regional with a 7-0 win against Notre Dame on Wednesday. Senior Dina Jingoli had three assists in the game to set program records for assists in a season (15) and career (37). Senior Nicole Hundley, who scored twice, is tied for fifth in team history with 80 career points. Junior Jackie Shoustal is on pace to set the school record for lowest goals-against average in a season (0.38). The Blue Jays are making their fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. In 1997, they advanced to and hosted the “Final Four.”

New Jersey (17-0): TCNJ is the top-ranked team in Division III and enters the regional with a 32-game winning streak. Senior Victoria Nusse was the 2000 national player of the year and has a career goals-against average of 0.10. The Lions swept the New Jersey Athletic Conference awards, as junior Gia Rosamilia (11 goals, eight assists) was the offensive player of the year and senior Vanessa Wong was the defensive player of the year. TCNJ has a record of 24-7-2 in its previous 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, with three national titles.

Western New England (14-7-1): WNEC won the championship of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference by defeating top-seeded Johnson & Wales, 2-1, on Saturday. Junior Molly Burke, the MVP of the GNAC title match, has 23 goals and nine assists this season and is second on the school’s all-time scoring list with 175 points (73 goals, 29 assists). Senior Kristen Ogulewicz has 15 of her school-record 67 assists this season. The Golden Bears appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 1999 and lost in the first round.


Questions or comments? Send mail to falk@muhlenberg.edu
Last updated November 1, 2001